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FIU Bridge Collapse Victims Set to Get Share of Nearly $103 Million Settlement

Over a year and a half after the collapse of a pedestrian bridge at Florida International University (FIU), victims are set to receive their share of a nearly $103 million settlement. The decision came after Judge A. Jay Cristol, approved Magnum Construction Management's (MCM), formerly Munilla Construction Management, bankruptcy reorganization plan.

Barring any appeals, the settlement will take effect on December 28, 2019, and the amount will be divided between the families of the 6 people killed along with the 10 people injured in the collapse. The victims should be paid by January of 2020.

FIU Bridge Construction Project

The $14-million bridge was part of a construction project by FIU to connect the campus to Sweetwater. Figg Bridge Engineers (FBE) was hired to design the bridge, and MCM was the general contractor.

The bridge was elevated in March of 2018, and just 5 days later, it collapsed, dropping 950 tons of concrete and metal on vehicles stopped at a traffic light below.

Before the collapse, workers had noticed cracks in the north end of the bridge. Rather than clearing the street below while addressing the issue, those in charge of the project kept trying to tighten the tension rods to fix the problem. Unfortunately, their attempts to repair the bridge may have made the issue worse.

Collapse Investigation Reveals Flaws

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigated the incident and stated that the bridge was faulty from the start. It said that one of the main factors contributing to the collapse was the design by FBE. In a final report, the agency also stated that the project was fraught with inadequate oversight and systematic negligence.

Victims Initiated Lawsuits

In the months following the collapse, injured victims and the family members of those killed pursued legal action against 23 defendants, including FBE, MCM, and various subcontractors working on the project. All but one settled the lawsuits.

MCM changed its name from Munilla Construction Management and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company stated that the move wasn't to avoid responsibility for the incident, and it included the settlement as part of its restructuring.

The one company that held out from settling the lawsuits was the Louis Berger Group, which was hired by FBE to review the bridge design and identify potential issues. The NTSB concluded that the company’s review was lax.

Get Dedicated Legal Representation from Somera & Silva, LLP

When a company's negligence causes an accident that leads to injury or death, as happened with the FIU bridge, it can be held financially responsible for damages the victims suffered.

If you or a loved one was harmed because of someone else's carelessness or reckless actions, you might be able to pursue a lawsuit to recover compensation for accident-related losses and expenses you sustained. Reach out to Boca Raton attorneys today to discuss your case. We are committed to providing compassionate yet aggressive legal representation in complex personal injury cases.

To discuss your situation, call us at (561) 221-6802 or contact us online.

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